Low-grade inflammation and endothelial dysfunction explain the association between retinopathy and left ventricular ejection fraction in men: an 8-year follow-up of the Hoorn Study

Iris Walraven*, Katja Van den Hurk, Esther Van't Riet, Otto Kamp, Casper G. Schalkwijk, Coen D. A. Stehouwer, Walter J. Paulus, Annette C. Moll, Jacqueline M. Dekker, Bettine C. P. Polak, Giel Nijpels

*Corresponding author for this work

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Purpose: The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate the association of retinopathy with changes in left ventricular (LV) function. Methods: Within the Hoorn Study, a population-based cohort study of diabetes in The Netherlands, retinal photography and echocardiography were performed in the year 2000 (baseline) and 2008 (follow-up). Retinopathy was graded according to the Eurodiab classification and further defined as absent or present retinopathy. LV systolic and diastolic functions were assessed by LV ejection fraction (%), LV mass (g/m(2.7)) and left atrial (LA) volume indices and the ratio of LV inflow (E) and early diastolic lengthening (e') velocities. Linear regression analyses stratified for sex were completed to investigate associations of retinopathy with changes in LV function in participants with impaired glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes. Results: One hundred forty-seven participants (58% men, mean age 66) were included in the study, of whom 13.6% were present with retinopathy at baseline. LV ejection fraction was similar among participants with and without retinopathy (60.2% versus 60.7%) at baseline. Eight years later, retinopathy was significantly associated with a lower LV ejection fraction (beta -8.0 95% CI -15.37 to -0.68) in men, independent of risk factors. Microvascular endothelial dysfunction ( [ED]beta -4.87 95% CI -13.40 to 3.67) and low-grade inflammation ([LGI]beta -530 95% CI -13.72 to 3.12) both diminished the association. No significant associations between retinopathy and other LV function parameters were observed. Conclusion: Retinopathy was significantly associated with a lower LV ejection fraction in men but not in women. LGI and ED might explain the observed association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-823
JournalJournal of Diabetes and Its Complications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Epidemiology
  • Echocardiography
  • Left ventricular dysfunction retinopathy

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